The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-4, 0-1 ACC) fought hard, but simply ran out of gas in the second overtime, falling short to the No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-1, 2-0 ACC) 83-76 in South Bend.
The Yellow Jackets were able to jump out on a 13-2 run to start the game by playing solid defense and getting out in transition.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Through transition, Tech was able to hit 3 of 3 treys in the early going.
Brian Gregory’s bench reinforcements also played well, in particular Robert Sampson, who had eight points on 4 of 7 shots in the half.
Notre Dame was able to cut into the lead coming down the stretch of the first half ,while Tech went through a 2 for 15 shooting drought to get within four at 31-27 going into the locker room.
The Jackets shot 38.7% overall in the half to Notre Dame’s 52.2%, and still was able to maintain their lead because the Irish shot 1 of 7 from trey.
Georgia Tech was able to widen the margin to 41-33 in the early going of the second half.
However, Demetrius Jackson and Jerian Grant sparked a Notre Dame 16-5 run, to take the lead at 49-46. From that point it was “game on”.
Yellow Jackets were able to stay within striking distance, with the Irish opening up their biggest lead of the game in regulation at 56-52, with 3:59 left in the game.
Tech eventually took the lead from the Irish on a Marcus Georges-Hunt layup with 37.7 seconds left at 59-58.
Then Jerian Grant hit the first free throw an missed the second with 21 seconds left on the clock, giving the Jackets the opportunity to win the game.
Jan 3, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Brian Gregory watches from the bench in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
But with 19.4 seconds left, Marcus Georges-Hunt held the ball to eat clock and penetrated inside the lane, only to force up a tough shot, and the game went to overtime tied at 59 apiece.
Notre Dame got out to a quick 8-2 run in overtime and opened up a six-point lead at 67-61.
Georgia Tech was able to scrap back into the game by sending Note Dame to the line where the Irish could not shut the door.
Notre Dame missed 4 of 6 free throws in the closing minutes of overtime.
With the Irish up 69-67, Demarco Cox was able to tip-in a Marcus Georges-Hunt miss to tie the game at 69.
The game went into a second overtime after Zach Auguste missed a point blank tip-in off of a Jerian Grant miss in the closing seconds.
Notre dame was able to open a seven-point lead in the second overtime at 78-71 behind Pat Connaughton early flurry.
Georgia Tech only hit 2 of 12 shots in response to the flurry and simply ran out of gas in a very strong effort.
Marcus Georges-Hunt opened up conference play with a monster game logging 20 points and eight rebounds.
Jan 3, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Charles Mitchell (0) dribbles as Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Zach Auguste (30) defends in the first half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Charles Mitchell got his first of many double-doubles to come in ACC play, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Bolden added 14 points as well.
Jerian Grant showed his All-ACC pedigree in this matchup, leading five Irish players in double-figures by dropping 24 points and six assists in the books.
Steve Vasturia added 17 points and six rebounds with Pat Connoughton contributing 10 points and a team high eight rebounds for Mike Brey’s club.
Georgia Tech was able to hold the Irish to 4 of 17 shooting from three-point land.
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However the Irish were able to create a lot of scoring opportunities for themselves off dribble penetration. Thusly, Notre Dame shot 53.3% from the floor for the game.
The Jackets were able to enjoy their usual rebounding edge at 40-29, but Tech only shot 41.1% for the game.
There is no reason for Brian Gregory’s team to hang their head. This game is just an example of life in the ACC.
The Jackets will shake this game off, and come back out ready to battle Wednesday in their conference home opener against the Syracuse Orange.